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Alternatives for Indian Tobacco Farmers

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03 August 2022, New Delhi: The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) has been implementing Crop Diversification Programme (CDP), a sub-scheme of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), in 10 tobacco growing states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal to encourage farmers to shift to alternative crops/cropping system since 2015-16. Under CDP, tobacco growing states have been given the flexibility to take suitable activities / interventions to shift from tobacco crops to alternative agricultural / horticultural crops.

For implementation of the scheme in the 10 tobacco growing states, the Central share of Rs. 667.00 lakh, 667.00 lakh, 667.00 lakh, 1000.00 lakh and 1000.00 lakh were allocated during the year 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22, respectively.

A total of 111889 acres land has been shifted from tobacco farming during last five years i.e. 2017-18 to 2021-22 to other alternative crops/cropping system.

In addition to CDP, the Government of India is also providing flexibility to the States for state specific needs/priorities under RKVY and the States can promote crop diversification under RKVY with the approval of State Level Sanctioning Committee (SLSC) headed by Chief Secretary of the respective states. The DA&FW also implements various crop development programmes such as the National Food Security Mission on Rice, Wheat, Pulses, Nutri Cereals, Coarse Cereals, Oilseeds and Commercial Crops (Cotton, Jute & Sugarcane), Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) etc. for promotion of agricultural / horticultural crops.

ICAR- Central Tobacco Research Institute, Rajahmundry has recommended alternative cropping system to the States for replacing tobacco.                         

This information was given by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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